Physiological, anthropometric, and training correlates of running economy

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1992 Oct;24(10):1128-33.


Potential physiological, anthropometric, and training determinants of running economy (RE) were studied in a heterogeneous group of habitual distance runners (N = 188, 119 males, 69 females). RE was measured as VO2 ( during level treadmill running at 161 m.min-1 (6 mph) (VO2-6). Examined as potential determinants of RE were heart rate and ventilation while running at 6 mph (HR6, VE6), VO2max ( x min-1), % fat, age, gender, height, weight, estimated leg mass, typical training pace, training volume, and sit-and-reach test performance. RE was entered as the dependent variable and the potential determinants as independent variables in zero-order correlation and multiple regression analyses. Zero-order correlation analysis found VO2max, HR6, and VE6 to be significantly, positively correlated with VO2-6 (P < 0.001). Multiple regression analysis, in which the independent effect of each predictor variable was examined, revealed VO2-6 to be positively correlated with VO2max (P < 0.001), HR6 (P < 0.001), VE6 (P < 0.001), and age (P < 0.05) and negatively correlated with weight (P < 0.01). These findings indicate that, in a diverse group of runners, better RE (VO2-6) is associated with lower VO2max, lower submaximal exercise VE and HR, lower age, and greater weight.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Body Weight
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Respiration
  • Running / physiology*